Kobe Bryant believed his daughter Gianna was “destined for greatness” and thought she would be the one to carry on his legacy.
The basketball legend was tragically killed in a helicopter crash with eight other people at the weekend, including 13-year-old Gianna.
Gianna played in an Amateur Athletic Union basketball team coached by her father, playing alongside Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester, who both died in the crash with them.
She had attended many games with her dad and he even enlisted the help of his old coach God Shammgod to train Gianna and her teammates in dribbling a ball last February.
Shammgod told The New York Times: “When I say that’s all he wanted to do is dribbling, that’s all he wanted to do.
“From 10 to 12 in the morning, then from 2 to 4. These girls were dribbling four hours straight without shooting the basketball.”
He then started doing one-on-one training with Gianna, with Shammgod saying: “Her mind-set was just like his mind-set.”
In 2018 Kobe appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and said Gianna was offended when fans told him that he and his wife Vanessa Bryant needed to have a son to continue his legacy.
“She’s like, ‘Oy, I got this,'” Bryant said of Gianna, then 12.
On the day he died Kobe was heading to Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy for a youth basketball match with Gianna, along with Payton and her mother Sarah Chester, girls’ basketball coach Christina Mauser, college baseball coach Joh Altobelli and his wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, when the helicopter came down during foggy conditions in the Calabasas mountains.
Pilot Ara Zobayan also died.
The explanation behind the crash is still being investigated by authorities but reports suggest the helicopter plummeted nearly 500 feet in just 15 seconds before smashing into an LA hillside.
Kobe is survived by wife Vanessa, 37, and their daughters Natalia, 17, Bianka, 3, and Capri, who was born in June 2019.